Attacks by Islamist militants, military operations, and waves of inter-communal violence have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced since January in Burkina Faso, triggering an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis that has caught many by surprise. Homegrown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS, have been operating in the country’s north since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts. As the state struggles to contain the insurgencies, a growing number of “self-defense” militias have mobilized, escalating ethnic tensions in a country once considered a beacon of coexistence and tolerance in West Africa. (Photo: The New Humanitarian)
A village of semi-nomadic Fulani herders was attacked in Mali New Years Day, with at least 33 residents slain and several homes set aflame. Survivors said the attackers were traditional Dogon hunters, known as dozos. The army was rushed to Koulogon village in central Mopti region to control the situation. But the perpetrators may have been assisted by the armed forces. Dogon residents of the area have formed a self-defense militia, known as Dana Amassagou, to prevent incursions by jihadists from Mali's conflicted north into the country's central region. The militia is said to have received weapons and training from the official armed forces. However, driven by conflicts over access to land and shrinking water resources, the militia has apparently been attacking local Fulani villages. Hundreds were killed in clashes between Dogon and Fulani last year, and a Senegalese rapid reaction force under UN command was deployed to Mopti in response to the violence. (Photo of Fulani elder via IRIN)
The International Criminal Court announced that al-Hassan ag-Abdoul Aziz was surrendered to the court's detention center in the Netherlands by Malian authorities. He is accused of crimes against humanity in Timbuktu as de facto leader of the "Islamic police" force after the city was taken over by jihadists in 2012. He allegedly took part in the destruction of the mausoleums of Muslim saints. He is also accused of participating in forced marriages involving Fulani women, which resulted in the reduction of women and girls to sexual slavery. (Photo: WikiMedia Commons)
Up to 20 were reported killed when Nigerian army troops raided the home of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The raid follows deadly clashes between Igbo IPOB militants and ethnic Hausa and Fulani residents in several areas across Nigeria's southeast. President Buhari accuses the IPOB of a "deliberate and sinister agenda to provoke soldiers into killing innocent people."
Gunmen killed at least eight people and burned down a church in attacks on two villages in Nigeria's central Plateau state—as 30 Fulani women were abducted in Borno.
The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) was blamed for a massacre of some 30 Tuaregs in a road ambush near the desert city of Gao in northern Mali.
A clash between Fulani herdsmen and Berom farmers in Nigeria's Plateau state follows growing ethnic violence and vigilantism across the country's northern plains.
Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) announced that they are ending their ceasefire with the Malian government following new clashes.
Tuareg rebels called on the International Criminal Court to investigate what they called war crimes committed by Malian government forces during the current conflict.
"Leftists" in the West are waxing paranoid about how the Syrian revolutionaries are a bunch of jihadists. But if the West intervenes in Mali, they will likely be rooting for jihadists—again.
Hundreds of nomadic Fulani pastoralists in central Mali are trapped between floodplains to the south and armed Islamist rebels to the north, and fear their way of life faces extinction.